A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is ideal for people who need the extra power and control that a shared hosting or reseller hosting plan can not provide.
With a Virtual Server you get more control and more power as well as the ability to scale your service as your requirements grow.
What Is The Difference Between A Managed And Unmanaged VPS?
In order to run a virtual server you will need to have some system administration skills.
When you order a VPS it will be set up with the base Operating System that you choose.
You will then need to configure the server for your requirements as well as performing regular administration tasks such as updating software, running security checks and general day to day housekeeping tasks required to keep your server running smoothly.
Examples of daily tasks include:
- Update Operating System packages to the latest version
- Remove unwanted packages
- Install and configure firewall
- Close unwanted ports
- Secure ssh login
- Password Management
However, we understand that not everyone is a server administrator. For that reason we offer a Server Management Service for you.
If you are happy to manage your own server then below are the details of the Unmanaged VPS service we offer.
What Are The Advantages Of A VPS?
With a Virtual Server you have more control, more power and much more flexibility to upgrade your hosting.
The important point is that with shared or reseller hosting you have two important restrictions:
- Resource Restrictions, i.e. CPU and RAM are shared across the server
- Security Restrictions i.e. you have to use the security settings of the hosting company. With a VPS this isn’t the case
- Software and Application Restrictions i.e. you may not be able to run non-standard software or applications in a shared hosting environment
You can choose the amount of CPU, RAM, diskspace etc. that you need. This is really important if you are running resource hungry applications or your website is experiencing a lot of traffic.
In terms of security, the hosting company (i.e. Pickaweb) will set the security standards on their shared servers to prevent abuse. For example they may prevent SSH use in shared servers.
When it comes to software and applications they may run a version of PHP which might not work with an application you want to use.
But whatever the situation, this won’t occur with your VPS since you can decide how much resource you require, which security settings you want to use and which applications you wish to run.
What Do I Get With My VPS?
The main features you get with your VPS are:
- High Availability Cloud Disk Space
- Choice of Disk Type (SAS or SSD)
- Control over server resources
- Choice of operating system
- Choice of hosting control panel
- Backup Management
Let’s look at each in turn.
High Availability Cloud Disk Space
With traditional VPS they are hosted in a single physical server and the server is split up into a number of logical or virtual servers which are completely separated from each other hence the expression Virtual Private Server.
This is a low cost option for the hosting company and they will usually offer some kind of data protection using a RAID system where data is copied across multiple disks. This is an entry level solution but one issue is that the server itself represents a single point of failure. It could be that the power supply fails which brings the server down for example.
However another option is to pool together a cluster of physical servers into a cloud arrangement whereby the data is stored across several physical disks in several physical machines. This dramatically reduces the possibility of hardware related downtime by spreading the load and the risk of hardware failure. This is a High Availability Cloud setup which Pickaweb uses.
Choice Of Disk Types (SAS or SSD)
With a VPS you can choose the type of disk that you would like to use. At Pickaweb we offer you a choice of two Enterprise Grade disk:
- 10K SAS
- Datacenter Ready SSD
The main difference between the two types of disk is speed.
The 10K SAS are traditional ‘spinning’ hard drives. The K stands for the number of revolution per minute, so in this case they spin at 10,000 revolutions per minute.
SAS stands for Serial Attached SCSI (SCSI stands for Small Computer System Interface).
The 10K SAS drives are excellent drives made for demanding Datacenter environments such as web hosting.
SSD stands for Solid State Drive. These are the future of data storage. Whereas traditional (spinning) drives like the 10K SAS drive are partly mechanical (spinning data platter and moving data arm), SSDs are 100% electronic. There are no moving parts in SSDs.
This makes them fast. Extremely fast.
To give you a feel for how fast they are we need to look at the best measure of disk speed which is called IOPS (Inputs Outputs Per Second). This specifies how fast a hard drive can read data from and write data to itself.
The 10K SAS drives perform at around 120 to 130 IOPS.
An Intel DC S3500 operates in a range of between 7,500 IOPS (Random Writes) to 76,000 IOPS (Random Reads).
You don’t need to be a mathematical genius to see that the SSD operates hundreds of times faster in some cases.
The reason that speed is important is because that determines how fast your website loads and how fast your software applications run.
This is vitally important especially if you run an Ecommerce store. Evidence shows that faster websites sell more.
Also, website loadspeed is a stated Google ranking factor so a faster website could result in more traffic from the search engines.
Of course there are loads of ways to speed up a website but hosting is where the rubber hits the road so opting for SSD is a good choice.
Control Over Server Resources
One of the really important points with a VPS is that you get full control over the amount of server resources you require.
In particular this means Disk space, CPU and RAM.
With shared hosting these limits are set by the hosting company, but with a VPS you have the flexibility to add or remove these resources as you need them.
Let’s say you are running a promotion or launching a new product. If you feel that you are going to get a spike in traffic then you can just upgrade to accommodate the spike.
Also, as your business grows you have the ability to scale up massively without switching to another platform like a Dedicated Server and having the need to migrate your data. With a VPS you can add huge amounts of CPU processing power or RAM quickly and easily without human intervention.
Choice Of Operating System And Control Panel
With a VPS you can select the type of Operating System (OS) that you want to suit your needs.
You can choose the OS that best suits your needs and one advantage over a Dedicated Server is that your VPS will be provisioned extremely quickly – usually within 2 minute versus approximately 2 hours for a Dedicated Server.
You can choose from CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, Ubuntu, FreeBSD and others.
You can also choose to have a hosting control panel such as cPanel or Plesk as well as value added features like CloudLinux.
Backing up your data is important and with our VPS you get full control to manage how your data is backed up and you can restore from different data points as required so there is no waiting for a technician.